CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A recent genetic study of Lyme disease offers greater insight into some of the long-lasting symptoms seen in people.

Nearly half a million people are infected with the Lyme bacteria each year, according to the CDC. Samples from hundreds of patients revealed that certain strains of the Lyme bacteria have a protective outer layer that contains a type of protein that appears to function as armor against the human immune system.

This in turn gives the bacteria a better chance of spreading throughout the body. The researchers hoped to learn how certain strains of the Lyme bacteria were able to spread beyond the initial bite site.

This new research allows us to better understand why certain long-standing symptoms like body aches and pains arthritis and even memory complaints persist. It also allows scientists to create new treatment options for those dealing with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

The new research is at a very early stage, but it is an important step to understanding and treating the disease. Scientists hope to conduct a larger study that follows people over a longer amount of time to learn which patients go on to develop those long-standing symptoms.

Local News

Melissa Torres is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2021. Follow Melissa on X @melissatorrestv and view her bio to see more of her work.